Cornelius, the genre-defying producer and multi-instrumentalist, releases his highly anticipated seventh studio album, ‘Dream in Dream’ via Warner Music Japan/ Like LTD, which marks his first full-length album since the critically acclaimed ‘Mellow Waves’ in 2017. In the lead up to the album release Cornelius presented videos for various singles which include All Things Must Pass, Sparks, and Change and Vanish.
On All Things Must Pass, the track immerses the listener in a spellbinding drone tapestry, where the guitars serenade in aching waves, richly imbued with sorrowful beauty – the video directed by Koichiro Tsujikawais shot entirely in live action. Koichiro also directed the video for Sparks which was entirely CG (computer-generated). This slice of sophista-indie pop is available on 7″ vinyl, featuring the B-side Quantum Ghosts. Earlier this year, ‘Dream in Dream’ unveiled its lead single, Change and Vanish, which was met with critical acclaim. The album version of the track, originally sung by Cornelius, was later reimagined with a captivating rendition by Japanese vocalist Mei Ehara and remixed by the talented John Carroll Kirby.
“All Things Must Pass is based on the Buddhist concept that, everything in this world changes and is destined to be born and disappear repeatedly, and that nothing remains the same forever. I feel that by viewing life in this way, I can be at ease. This year, many musicians that I was involved with or influenced by, have passed away. I think these events also influenced me to write this song.” -Keigo Oyamada
With ‘Dream in Dream,’ Cornelius expands his sonic universe, incorporating angular guitars and lush synthesizer interplay that dance around syncopated drums throughout the album. Each song is an intricately woven tapestry of lushly orchestrated rolling harmonies, propelled by vibrant bursts of organic electronic synths that transport listeners into a trippy, multi-colorful sonic landscape.
Cornelius says this about the title, “I became interested in the possibility that this world we are experiencing now is not reality. I feel that this sense is connected to the texture of the sound in this album.
The album cover is also printed with the words “Dream In Dream,” and the word “Dream” is designed to fade away, but in reality, the word “Dream” is meant to continue indefinitely.” I am also interested in recent physics and what is being researched in quantum mechanics.”
Notable tracks such as Night Heron take listeners to the golden era of the ’70s, effortlessly capturing the essence of celestial soundscapes while infusing them with a pulsating, minimalist funk. The composer’s mastery shines through as he expertly weaves R&B influences into the track, creating a groove-laden sonic experience that is both timeless and irresistibly funky.
The album also features thrilling bursts of the theremin, adding an exhilarating element to compositions like 8 Drifts and there’s also a re-work version of METAFIVE’s Environmental. Ahead of the album’s release Flood Magazine premiered the album track Mirage and said, “On the cut, trance-inspired synths interlock with a propulsive drum groove and a methodical bass line that gives the song a hefty rhythm. Cornelius’ voice comes in and sounds mysterious and seductive, a nice parallel to Kaputt-era Destroyer and the soft-rock resurgence of the early-2010s.”
Cornelius tells Brooklyn Vegan about his biggest influences: “I believe this album has been influenced by all the music I have heard, but the most profound influence comes from performing and recording. For me, this was thru my experience with the three members of YMO (Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yukihiro Takahashi and Haruomi Hosono) and Yoko Ono.”
With its breezy and sun-drenched ambiance, ‘Dream in Dream’ seamlessly merges elements of avant-garde jazz, soulful R&B, and psychedelic acoustic electronics, resulting in a genre-blending masterpiece that pushes the boundaries of musical innovation.
The versatility of ‘Dream in Dream’ is apparent, making it a soundtrack that transcends boundaries and resonates with music fans across all genres. Cornelius once again demonstrates his unparalleled talent as a producer, composer, and visionary artist.
Keigo Oyamada, wrote the lyrics for all tracks on the album, with the exception of Change and Vanish for which Shintaro Sakamoto wrote the lyrics.
‘Dream in Dream’ track list
1. Change and Vanish
3. TOO PURE
4. Out of Time
9. Dream in the Mist
10. All Things Must Pass
‘Dream in Dream’ is available on all major streaming platforms and in physical formats as of today, June 28, 2023.
More recently Cornelius made the music for KENZO’s SS24 Runway Show created by NIGO which debuted at Paris Fashion week this June.
Cornelius also announces his fall headline Japan tour. European and North American dates to follow.
Cornelius Dream In Dream Tour 2023
10/6 (Fri) Osaka・Zepp Namba
10/7(Sat) Fukuoka・Zepp Fukuoka
10/13(Fri) Kanagawa・KT Zepp Yokohama
10/19(Thu) Hokkaido・Zepp Sapporo
10/23(Mon) Aichi・Zepp Nagoya
10/31(Tue) Tokyo・Zepp Haneda
Cornelius made his name in the 90s with the cult album Fantasma (1997) released on Matador Records which mixed the 60s harmonies of The Beach Boys with krautrock and French pop, and a late-90’s sample heavy production reminiscent of Paul’s Boutique. He has since released Point (2002), Sensuous (2008) and most recently Mellow Waves (2017). Also known as a world class remixer, he has lent his talents to such artists as Blur, Beck, MGMT, Sting, and James bBrown, as well as playing guitar in a re-formed Yellow Magic Orchestra, and recording and performing as a member of Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band, and more. His release Sensurround + B Sides was nominated for the 2009 Grammy Award for “Best Surround Sound Album”. Recently he contributed his cover of “Thatness and Thereness” to the album A TRIBUTE TO RYUICHI SAKAMOTO – TO THE MOON AND BACK.